Divine Comedy: 25 Best Stand-Up Specials and Movies

From classic HBO specials to arena-comic concert flicks, these bits continue to crack us up

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10. 'An Evening With Robert Klein' (1975)

In the Seventies, most Americans experienced stand up only on vinyl or in six-minute sprints on the Tonight Show. But in 1975, Robert Klein broke ground in this first ever hour-long HBO special where he could present an entire act and not have to be "funny in a hurry," as Klein called it. "They never asked me to change a word or remove something or looked over my shoulder," he told the Washington Post. It's easy to underestimate the skill and stature of this comic’s comic when compared to contemporaries like Carlin or Pryor, but this special still feels hip and funny. ("He was just hot," Steve Martin would later recount for author Richard Zoglin, after catching him at a club right after Evening was taped. "I was nowhere near that level of intelligence [or] tightness.") In fact, his observations on life in the Eisenhower era are still so universal and slyly hilarious that they would probably still kill if played for the current class at Haverford College, where the original special was filmed. SC

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